Short Essay on ‘A Stitch in Time Saves Nine’

‘A stitch in time saves nine‘ is an apt proverb for people whose life is about procrastination. It means that if you act in the first instance of a problem rather than waiting you might get saved of the trouble to deal with a much bigger problem later.

Literally it means that when you have tear on a garment if you don’t stitch it in time, you may have to put nine stitches as the tear might get bigger with time.

The origin of this proverb is debatable. The first instance of this proverb being used is by Thomas Fuller in 1732 in his book Gnomologia, Adagies and Proverbs, Wise Sentences and Witty Sayings, Ancient and Modern, Foreign and British. In this book he uses it as ‘A stitch in time MAY save nine.’ The exact use of the phrase was made in 1779 by Francis Baily, an English Astronomer, in his journal, published by Augustus De Morgan in 1856.

Fear is a common factor for postponing actions. Sometimes one feels too frozen to move. One also feels that by not taking action, possibly the problem may dissolve by itself. Other times one feels that as long it is not affecting the present, it can be left for later. However, in most cases, the problem only gets more complex and much more effort needs to put into the solution. To give an example, if one repeatedly falls ill, and avoids consulting a doctor for fear of some big diseases, it might happen that the sickness is increasing which could be cured in the first visit. Leaving that unattended can cause a major physical and emotional trauma later which could have been avoided.

A much wiser way, as suggested by the proverb is that as soon as one encounters a situation that needs action, a solution must be considered. If there is none that arises immediately, find other ways to deal with it. Whatever needs to be done, don’t postpone.

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